Criminal Justice

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After listening to the guest lecture on the death penalty, listening to the speech by George Ryan, and reading Trial By Fire, do you think that the fact that there is always the possibility of executing the innocent, that we should abolish the death penalty? Provide reasons for your view.

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( (Links to an external site.)Trial By Fire in the New Yorker )


Various states use death as a punishment for various crimes. Every day people are sentenced to death for crimes that are not to be criminalized. Death penalty varies from one state to the other; some state could sentence an individual for capital punishment for drug-related crimes while others for terrorism and others for committing murder. Unfortunately, some people who are sentenced to death sentences suffer from mental and intelligent with disabilities and others are under 18 years of age were some of the people sent to the death penalty as a result of unfair trials with a clear violation of international laws and standards. This paper seeks to discuss my watch on whether there is a possibility of executing Innocent individuals found whether we should abolish the death penalty.

After listening to the guest lecturer on the death penalty and listening to the speech by George Ryan, it is evident that some people are sentenced to the death penalty although they are innocent. The death penalty is passed by the demon of error that commits an error in determining the guilty personnel and in determining who among the guilty should die. It is quite unfortunate that the death penalty causes the death of innocent people in society.  I feel that Willingham’s was an innocent man accused of killing his children through fire by pouring gasoline in his house then setting on fire before he left. The fire investigators found a v-shaped pattern outlining thast fire was man caused rather than accidental in the living room and hallway (Grann, 2009). Although the lab reports found no evidence of gasoline to the fire in the house, Lewis was sentenced to death. The fire investigators outline that they found a v pattern in the living room was the source of fire on the couch as Lewis had outlined accidentally by his son burned a coach (Grann, 2009).

According to Ryan speech, he reported that 17 people on the death penalty were exonerated from the death row as they were proven innocent. This that outlines the failure in the justice system that risks sentencing innocent men to death as the system is corrupt and broken. Like finding Eric Lee a was guilty as he killed  a police officer, he was not worthy of the death penalty as he had a severe mental illness. He might have committed the crime of killing an officer’s when he was not in his right state of mind they are from these actions are not worthy of capital punishment rather than he should have been taken to a hospital for psychological and mental fitness. It is unfortunate that in the United States, there is an overwhelming of death penalty cases of people allegedly executed while suffering from drug addiction and alcoholic. Condemning an individual who is mentally unstable or who was under the influence of any drugs to death is against international law and standards. Besides, the Death penalty has neither protect the innocent nor has it deterred the killing of the innocent.  Death penalty has sharpened human life but it has not redeemed the Grace that comes from Justice and what the justice system should be providing. It is because people sentenced to the death penalty can spend years on death row without the knowledge of when their time up or when they will see their loved ones.  (“Why Amnesty opposes the death penalty without exception.” 2020).

Therefore I believe the death penalty is ultimately cruel, it is inhumane, and it is a degrading punishment. As a result, Amnesty does oppose death penalty and without expectation of who has accused the circumstances of the crime guilty or innocent. Besides, the death penalty can be seen as revenge rather than offering Justice. Justice system should create room for mercy, compassion and clemency.






Grann, D. (2009). Trial by Fire. The New Yorker. Retrieved 28 November 2020, from

In Ryan’s Words: I Must Act. Death Penalty Information Center. (2020). Retrieved 28 November 2020, from

Why Amnesty opposes the death penalty without exception. (2020). Retrieved 28 November 2020, from

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